Second day of closing arguments

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

Why weren't Francesco Aquilini's father Luigi, youngest brother Paolo and chief financial officer Chuck Wright called to testify in the court battle over the Vancouver Canucks and General Motors Place?

That's what Tom Gaglardi's and Ryan Beedie's lawyer wants Justice Catherine Wedge to consider in her judgment.

Murray Clemens said in B.C. Supreme Court during the second day of closing arguments yesterday that Wedge could draw "adverse inferences" from the absence of certain figures from the roster of defence witnesses. They could have clarified what happened during a critical 11-day period in fall 2004 in which Clemens alleged Aquilini derailed his ex-partners and secretly made his own deal for 50 per cent of the team and arena.

Gaglardi, Beedie and Aquilini joined forces in November 2003, but Aquilini left the group in March 2004.

Clemens reiterated the significance of an Oct. 29, 2004, memo by Lyall Knott, a lawyer who acted for both Orca Bay and Aquilini. The memo said Aquilini told Knott of a conference call in which Orca Bay CEO Stan McCammon recommended to owner John McCaw that he stop talks with Gaglardi and seek a 20 per cent sale to Aquilini.

Patriarch Luigi Aquilini, the three brothers and Wright were also on the conference call, according to the memo.

Earlier in the trial, the defendants disputed the conference call's existence and maintained that negotiations only happened over two days after Aquilini, Knott and McCammon met for a pivotal Nov. 3, 2004 dinner.


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